Sunday afternoon, the NFL players will be heading out onto the field with brightly colored cleats. Normally, this would result in a fine or another form of discipline from the league, but this won't be a normal schedule. Week 14 will serve as the annual opportunity for these stars to promote causes close to their hearts as part of the "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative.
Originally launched in 2016, My Cause, My Cleats is a culmination of collaborative work between the NFL and players across the league through which more than 800 players plan to raise awareness for philanthropic organizations and movements by wearing unique cleats. They wear custom-designed pieces of footwear that promote mental health awareness, anger management, etc.
“My Cause My Cleats is a powerful platform and we are proud to shine a spotlight on our players, the causes that are important to them, and the many ways in which our players are positively impacting the community around them,” Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO, said. “In addition, our entire organization will be showing its support of the team’s community platform as all of our staff will be wearing sneakers that highlight the Eagles Autism Foundation.”
Players from every franchise in the NFL will be wearing custom cleats during Week 14, and the initiative won't be limited to one or two players. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots will even be partaking as he brings awareness to multiple foundations, including the Navy Seal Foundation and Pat Tillman Foundation.
Photo Credit: Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire/Getty
Julie and I are excited to work with Boys and Girls Club and welcome them as a new Generosity Partner of our Foundation. Looking forward to representing BGCA on Sunday with #MyCauseMyCleats! pic.twitter.com/t6om1gVULz— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) December 7, 2019
As the quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins is the face of the franchise. The former Washington Redskins signal-caller headed to the Twin Cities after signing a three-year, $84 million deal, and he brought hopes of positively impacting the area while leading the team to a Super Bowl. He will be achieving one of these goals when he heads out onto the field for Sunday's battle with the Detroit Lions.
As Cousins revealed, he will be wearing custom cleats that promote the Boys & Girls Club. This organization has long been close to his heart, and he will be looking to help them as he tries to achieve victory against a rival team.
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When Tom Brady heads out onto the field on Sunday, he will do so with the goal of defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and securing the 11th win. Winning this game is a critical part of his journey to secure a first-round bye during the playoffs, especially after the recent loss to the Houston Texans. However, Brady will also be supporting multiple organizations with his custom cleats.
"My cleats, my causes! I’m always particular about my gameday cleats but this weeks are especially meaningful," Brady wrote on Instagram. "[Under Armour] helped me with this custom pair featuring some of my favorite charities and foundations."
The cleats Matthew Stafford is wearing for this weekend’s “My Cause, My Cleats” game pic.twitter.com/02Ts0mhXzF— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 6, 2019
Given that he is dealing with an injured back, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will not be in the lineup for Sunday's battle with the Minnesota Vikings. However, the former first overall pick will still be taking part in My Cause, My Cleats. He will be doing so by honoring his wife.
Last April, Kelly Stafford underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. She was in danger of losing her life but was able to recover and has since been back with her family. She even attended a battle between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.
As a recent game on Monday night showed, Russell Wilson is focused on motivating others whenever possible. He tried to hype up his teammates during a battle with the Minnesota Vikings, ultimately proving victorious. Now he is trying to motivate those that may be questioning their futures.
As photos showed on Friday, Wilson's cleats will deliver a message of fighting through and trying to achieve your goals. "Dream Big" and "Anything is Possible" are the messages on each cleat.
This year with @playercoalition @aclupa & @BPIBard I wanted to highlight how the lack of resources within our prisons and the pitfalls in our probation system make it hard for people to do the right thing. Tune in to Monday Night Countdown to see the unveiling of my cleats #MCMC pic.twitter.com/hiBl3axPu6— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) December 6, 2019
Malcolm Jenkins is best known as the safety of the Philadelphia Eagles, but he is someone that has been working to positively affect the probation system. He has also been tied to the protests of racial injustice and police brutality. His cleats will be serving a similar role on Sunday.
As Jenkins explained on Friday, his custom kicks will be used to promote both the ACLU and Bard Prison Initiative. Both organizations are dedicated to aiding those that have been incarcerated as they return to the outside world. The BPI, in particular, helps those in prison earn college degrees.
Check out @mohurstjr 2019 “My Cause, My Cleats” he’ll be rocking this Sunday to bring awareness to pediatric brain cancer, with emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). #ChadTough pic.twitter.com/dKeBHYibc0— Nicole Page (@NicolePage0127) December 5, 2019
Best known as the second-year defensive tackle of the Oakland Raiders, Maurice Hurst is also someone that wants to make a difference in the lives of children around the world. His custom cleats will be used to raise awareness of pediatric brain tumors. Specifically, his custom footwear will place an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
As the photo shows, Hurst will be highlighting the ChadTough Foundation. This organization is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for DIPG research.
Lavonte David unboxed his cleats with David from @MentorBig!December 6, 2019
A common theme with My Cause, My Cleats is that the NFL players want to positively affect the lives of youth in their communities. Whether they are raising funds for the Boys & Girls Club or trying to prevent violence in the home, these figures are on a mission to make a difference. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David is one that wanted to help out local youth, and he did so by getting design input.
Friday, the veteran unboxed his cleats that will be promoting Big Brothers, Big Sisters. However, these shoes were special considering that they were actually designed by a local kid. After winning the contest, he was given the opportunity to go to the Buccaneers headquarters and help David unveil the cleats.